bmacleod
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Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 3:43 am

I've heard this rumor that United is planning to sell off a "significant number of its 747-400 fleet to get out of Chapter 11 sooner. (Avg 747 load factor is said to be only 20-30%) Has anyone else heard this?
"What good are wings without the courage to fly?" - Atticus
 
gigneil
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 3:48 am

Not the avg 747 load factor being 20 to 30% part, as all the other indicators are that they're packing them in over the Pacific.

But yeah, this has been the buzz for some time.

N
 
BOEING747-700
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 3:54 am

I think I remember reading that someone said that Air Canada might be looking at SOME OF them. I think I read that here????????
 
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yyz717
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 4:14 am

Yes, there was a rumour that AC was interested in 5 ex-UA 744's. This rumour has not been substantiated. I would say ignore it!

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
N777UA
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 4:23 am

This is not a rumor...8 or so of United's 747s are up for sale...more most likely will be put up soon as well. Whether or not there will be any buyers is unsure...not many airlines are looking for huge capacity airplanes right now. Most likely some will be simply parked until things start up again.

United is not getting rid of the ENTIRE 747-400 fleet though, but scaling it back dramatically. Back in the 90s, they had a need for 45 747s, not now though. The new fleet most likely will number about 20 if I had to guess.
 
captaingomes
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 4:48 am

Somebody I was talking to last week said that United would be acquiring a lot of RJ type aircraft and reducing the number or larger aircraft as they change their business model. I can't substantiate that of course, but it's just another rumour to spread around. Regarding the 747's, United must see where they are losing money, specifically which routes. How can they adapt their fleet to meet new requirements? While selling off the 747's could potentially generate cash flow, there must be a market for that aircraft type. Unfortunately, that is unlikely the case. Another thing is, if these aircraft are flying nearly full most of the time, they are generating much needed cash into the organization. There are many things to consider of course, but I'm not privy to inside information, unfortunately.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
donder10
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 4:58 am

Is it possible for the PW4098 to be used on the 772ER?This may lead to a protracted way of using the 772 on the Aussie routes enabling the 744 to be dropped.That way costs can be reduced through elimination of a fleet type.
Boeing really must be regretting the GE exclusivity deal on the 777-200ER+ weights now.With RR in there too,the 773ER market is a lot larger IMO(BA,CX, with the likes of DL,AA as potential long term users)
 
flyboy80
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 5:01 am

Yes, Thai and Air Canada were looking at taking aircraft, Thai was considering up to 12 of them, UA has a massive route reconstruction plan that they are trying to get up and running in the next few years, basically it is to dramatically expand United Express because of there smaller equipment, they've been in talks with Bombardier as well considering to place more then 120 orders for CR2s and the larger CR7 aircraft I believe it was.
Hope this helps
 
gigneil
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 5:28 am

Both UA and KE investigated the PW4098 on the 772ER, and discarded it as either unnecessary or uneconomical.

I'm sure its possible.

N
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 6:19 am

Is it possible for the PW4098 to be used on the 772ER?

It's been investigated by a number of airlines, as Neil suggested... however, the PW4098 is a fuel hog, and no airline other than KE has found its economics acceptable.


Boeing really must be regretting the GE exclusivity deal on the 777-200ER+ weights now.

I'd imagine that they'd regret putting two less capable engine types on the aircraft [which would cause it to not live up to its specifications and agitate its customers] a whole lot more than an exclusivity clause.

Let's face it, the Trent800 and especially the PW4000 were not suitably built for the 93,000lb+ market. Sure they have generated thrusts much higher than that...but at what cost? There's the Metco58 fiasco with the Trent892 (which no doubt shied a lot of customers from the Trent895... hence that engine's lackluster sales). And the problem of the PW4098 has already been stated.

GE built its lower-rated engine core with heavy reinforcements for growth. As a result of that decision, it lost out on the bulk of the 772A and all of the 773A market because airlines found the engine too weighty. However, in the 777NG market, GE has exclusivity. Sweet justice  Big grin
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
kaitak
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 7:06 am

Thai was reported to have been looking at ex UAL 744s, but although a board meeting was to have taken place to approve this, it was some weeks ago and you can take it that Airbus (aided by French diplomatic pressure) will be working flat out to make sure Airbus gets the order for A340-5/600s as planned.

I didn't hear about AC, but it would surprise me very much, given that it is also a 340-5/600 customer and would be looking to standardise on A330/340 types, not keep the 744 in operation - a fine aircraft though it is - longer than necessary.

Remember that the market for secondhand 744s is very soft. As well as UA, BA also wants to dump a few and Iberia's recent decision to focus on new aircraft shows that even for them things are difficult.

If UA is relying on sales of the 744s to get it out of bankruptcy, I think it's in more serious trouble than we think. Ultimately, it will come down to selling European routes or LHR slots.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 9:24 am

Might be a good time for NW to pick up a batch of used 744's (from its arch rival UA).
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 2:09 pm

Maybe NW is also having the same problems filling their 747s and are looking to get rid of some?
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 2:12 pm

I think UA will likely keep about 22-24 744's. They still need such a large plane for transpacific routes, where load factors are still quite high.
 
Rhino4ever
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 2:30 pm

Just talked with a friend of mine who flies the 744 at NWA. Said they have been packing their 747's. Looking to add a couple non-stops back this spring out of DTW. Running almost full out of NRT vs. UAL's loads in the 20-30% much of the time out of NRT. Oriental's don't buy tickets on airlines that are bankrupt or even rumored to be approaching CH-11. He has heard they are in negotiations with leasing company to acquire 8 UAL 744's.
 
VonRichtofen
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 2:59 pm

I flew NW from MSP-NRT (744) in Nov. And then NRT to SEA (742) in Dec.

Both flights were packed. I know that could just be a fluke, but still...
 
FlagshipAZ
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 3:05 pm

IMHO, United can get by on 22-24 744s like other forum members here have said, once UA has emerged from chapter 11. I also expect Northwest to pick up some 2-6 744s from United in the near-term future. Right now in this crazy industry, it's the "survival of the fittest" game. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
gigneil
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 4:46 pm

Ok so I've heard the 20% loads out of NRT, and the "packed full" out of NRT rumors.

Which is it? Is United packing them in over the pacific, or flying them empty?

N
 
fspilot747
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 4:56 pm

All UA 744's to go within the next few years. They will be using the 772 from what a UA pilot told me. Two engines across the world as opposed to four is economically better for them. I wish it weren't true, but it seems so.

FSP
 
FLY777UAL
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 7:14 pm

20% loads out of NRT are absolutely ridiculous!! I would imagine something in the 40% range to come out of a NW employee's mouth, but 20%?! Someone obviously wanted to have fun at your expense...

As for NRT and every other market, it honestly depends on the day for all carriers. You generally have your lighter days of Tuesday and Wednesday, sometimes Thursday (as I'm sure you know), but all and all, the loads equal out to at least three, if not a little below four times what you were originally told.

Good point about Asians not wanting to have anything to do with a bankrupt carrier, but take into consideration that more frequently than not, Asians, especially in times of their native country's financial crisis, will always support their national carrier. Moot point.

Me, personally, I'm expecting that the 777 will rule United's network. With 60 777's soon to be (if not already) onhand, and the ability to aquire so many more, these aircraft which were designed to replace the "classic" 747 have in effect, begun to replace the 747-400. Their low low operating costs, belly cargo capacity, passenger capacity and performance blow the entire 747 line out of the water. For example, the amount of money which is sucked up by the original 2-747 SFO-NRT schedule can either be cut in 1/3, or a third 777 flight scheduled. For the same amount of money, United can boost cargo capacity by 1/3, add roughly 50 more passenger seats, as well as take advantage of so many more online connections to the US.

United Will Stand

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
 
ual777contrail
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 9:42 pm

rhino4ever,
our load factor isn't 20-30%over the pond, and your so called Orientals are flying united out of NRT.
the Asians do in fact fly united out of the orient because we have a strong presence in NRT.

that was pretty funny.


ual 777 contrail
 
bobnwa
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 9:54 pm

I would bet that UA's 747-400 load factor is 70-80 %. Please give a source for your numbers.
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 10:33 pm

My dad flies the 747-400 for NW.... and every flight is full or nearly full for him. I can't remember the last time he said there was a bunch of empty seats.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
ual777contrail
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 10:38 pm

You wouldn't operate a 747 that was 20% full, if you were paying the outrageous prices for pilots, and staff, perdiums, meals, fuel landing, fees gate space, and so on a so forth, why would you operate a flight that was only 20% full?

rhino4ever, don't believe everything you hear from NW pilots.
you have to be smarter than that.

ual 777 contrail
 
LJ
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:13 pm

You wouldn't operate a 747 that was 20% full, if you were paying the outrageous prices for pilots, and staff, perdiums, meals, fuel landing, fees gate space, and so on a so forth, why would you operate a flight that was only 20% full?

To keep the slots??

One question isn't it "normal" in January and February to have very low loads on the Pacific? I know that on Transatlantic flights a 20% - 30% load isn't strange during these months and wonder if the Transpacific flights follow the same pattern.

BTW are we talking about only pax loads or is cargo included in the load figure?
 
Rhino4ever
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:51 pm

Those flights will operate to keep slots. It is a slow time of year and loads do fall off. Load factors I talked about were results from the previous month that were posted in base showing load factors of all carriers in NRT. NWA's loads were at the top, while UAL's were near the lower end. NWA's Airbus operation is booming out of NRT and talk is to eventually put 757's in there to increase capacity. We certainly all hope the industry turns around and our economy and the Japanese economy can turn around soon or we will see the industry turn even further south into something unimaginable for all of us.
 
ContinentalEWR
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:53 pm

I still think UA will keep several 747-400's (perhaps up to a dozen or 15) that will operate on primary transpacific routes such as SFO/LAX to NRT, SYD, and places like HKG. However, if the routes to Europe truly are cut (and they will probably do so), then more 777's will become available for Pacific operations.

I believe that if there is a war with Iraq, United will not survive and most likely end up like Pan Am, TWA, and Eastern. American will be forced into Chapter 11 and possibly Delta and Northwest to follow.

 
HlywdCatft
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Mon Jan 27, 2003 12:03 am

The NW 744s to DTW from Asia were always coming in packed full daily. Last summer I would see the load sheets. The only time that they were 20-30% lower was during Sept Oct.
 
ual777contrail
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Mon Jan 27, 2003 2:01 am

If there is war with Iraq? I could see CO, and HP going bye,bye.
AA,DL instantly filing for chap.11
USair chap. 7

and I wouldn't say it is what IF, we should say WHEN we do go to war.


ual 777 contrail
 
mattnrsa
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Mon Jan 27, 2003 10:22 am

The flts to Asia are doing well for UA and NW. I don't know about the NW flts, but UA flts to all our Asian destinations, especially NRT, are very full. The intra-Asia flts out of NRT (to PEK, ICN, TPE, HKG, BKK, SIN) are also very full . My trip to China became a trip to Japan a few months ago because of the heavy loads out of NRT! That is why Asia is the only region seeing extra flts (SFO-ICN and HNL-KIX starting in a few months).

Based on articles I've read, I would say UA has the better reputation over NW. NW flies mostly older 747-200s, which tend to be less reliable than UAs 747-400s and 777s. In fact, I remember reading (1-2 years ago) that the Japanese government was looking at fining NW because they were experiencing a very high rate of mechanical problems on their NRT flights. Many of their flts were taking lengthy delays and even returning to the field. Not sure if the fines ever materialized.

I wouldn't be surprised to see more 777s on flts to Asia to push up yields, but the 747s we currently have there seem to be doing very well. Too bad it isn't like that in all regions of our route map.  Sad
 
skymileman
Posts: 577
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RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Mon Jan 27, 2003 10:38 am

That would make sense. Those 74's are just too big for the industry right now. I hope that the 74's going out doesn't discourage purchase of the a380.
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Rumor - UAL To Sell Off 747-400's

Mon Jan 27, 2003 11:39 am

Airlines are betting on the improvement of the economy in the next 3 or so years. Logic and trends suggest that we're testing the bottom now, and that at least some degree of improvement will be far overdue by then.

At that time, the A380 will be a very efficient vessel - so it is foretold, anyway. My guess is that, in the meantime, if there is an improvement of note in the economy, the 744s we have now will be pressed back into service, especially with the trend of retiring older airframes causing some presently needed vacuum of capacity.

N

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